can this be done for under $600 - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 6

Well I've concluded that putting irs in the camaro will have to wait till next year till i find the money to upgrade the engine and tranny. In the mean time I need some advice from you folks. I don't know if this is typical of vintage muscle car. But my camaro handles really poorly I mean down right scary to drive. Sloppy, handling I just don't feel comfortable driving it on the freeway.

Anyways I have 600 to spend maybe a bit more.
Is it possible to turn this into a good safe daily driver. I don't expect modern day camaro handling, but how about late 70s handling. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciate. Here what I've done to the car so far

Tires. I ve got a set of 15x10 in the back and 15x8 in the front. The 10s fit ok.. but anyone know if the 8 going to scrape?

I've connected the front and back together via welded brace.

Welded x brace to the front clip, don't know how much this would help but it only took a few minutes. It probably stiffen everything up.

I also pulled out a new box from a 87 t/a.

Any further suggestion as what is the best bang for the buck would greatly be appreciated.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Washington, Michigan USA
Posts: 7,728

What do you have for tires and shocks? If you don't have radials, it'll always feel loose and sloppy (just like they did when they were new on bias-ply tires). Has the front end been rebuilt (bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, idler arm, etc.)? How about the steering gear and rag joint? These are all "wear" parts, and when they get sloppy, so does handling.

'69 Z28 Fathom Green
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 6

Nothing has been done to the front end what so ever. I have high performance tires 8 in the front and 10 in the back 15x8 and 15x10 to be exact.

I was hoping that since I've only got 600 to spend and don't plan to keep the stock front end for very long 1.5 years max before i upgrade to irs. I was hoping that you guys could suggest what needs to be done first and go down the list.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 21,341

I have installed all poly EVERYWHERE (front, rear and middle) in my car as well as 500+ lb. front coils that I still have to cut to get my front height and new three leaf mono replacement rear springs. I am going to add one or two extra leafs to the rear to come up to about 150/175lb to better match the stiff fronts.

Next was the new bolt-on subframe connectors. And also 1" and 3/4" front and rear sway-bars. I might ditch the rear bar but won't know until I get it on the road.

Finally my homemade CBB disc brake conversion to 13" fronts and 11.75" rears along w/ 17" x 8" wheels w/ 225 and 255/45 tires. I have homemade "slapper-bars" on the rear, too. And I'm also going to add a new P/S box when I get back to working on my car, and before the new 496 is dropped in.

And after I get it on the road, I w/ fine tune everything. And everybody here has been most helpful about advising on all I've done and am still doing to my old car.

I'm sorry, but I haven't talleyed the cost of all this up yet. But the s/f/c's, springs and poly are under $600. I have about $1200 in my new wheels and tires. My CBB setup is about $60 to machine my hubs and axles, 200/pr front and $45/pr rear rotors and $40+/pr for my front rebuilt calipers. And prob $200/pr for new rear calipers.

I'm not counting the time and expensive whittling out my homemade flat steel plate caliper brackets b/c that was a learning experience! (Prob. $30). Almost forgot a include modifying my rear caliper brackets, $60.

He, He!!! It does add up fast....But I've done alot of this about as reasonably priced as I can. pdq67

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Back again, $90/pr rear rotors!! pdq67

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Moscow, ID
Posts: 33

I would suggest checking:

1. Shocks (bounce the car, more than one bounce = bad).
2. Check your tie rods (if you can twist them by hand = bad)

Things that will improve it the best would be:
1. High performance shocks (KYB's would be the cheapest and work just fine).
2. Bigger sway bar 1" is good.
3. The high performance steering box you have. (This will be really important if you have a lot of wear in your original one). A simple way of checking this wear is to, with the car not running and sitting on the ground, move the steering wheel back and forth. If the wheels move with your movements, and you don't move too far, it is good. The new box will still help though.
4. Polyurethane bushings.

I know others will have input on this, but this is atleast a start. If you can do the work yourself, and then take the car out for an alignment, I think the cost will come out below your $600 dollar mark.


67 Firebird Coupe--"Frankenstein"
94 LT1 engine, 4L60E transmission. Aluminum radiator, Tunercat, 160 T-Stat, Iroc-Z Steering box, GTA 16x8" wheels 245/50/r16 front and rear, 8.5" posi rear end 3.08 gears(I know, will eventually put in 3.73 gears), Guldstrand mod, poly bushings on front/rear suspension plus engine/transmission mounts, solid aluminum body bushings.
Definition of Project car!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 01, 04:20 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,099

what are you planning on doing with the front suspension when you put in your independant rear suspension? You said you were going to get rid of it when you put in the IRS? You will still need a front suspension system. Might as well start building it up now to match your rear suspension plans.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 01, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 47

I know it seemslike not a big deal and Im sure this is the least of your worries. But make sure your tires dont have low air pressure. Having a good 30+ psi will help handling a lot.
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